Marketing to key accounts during these uncertain times requires a tasteful and sensitive approach. To have appropriate conversations with customers about enabling remote office and digital, first understand how the top six U.S. retailers are reacting to COVID-19:
- Nike has closed all U.S., Canada, Western Europe, & ANZ stores for two weeks. China, Japan & South Korea are open. Additional steps in other Nike-managed facilities include the option to work from home, staggered work schedules, and social distancing for their 76,700 employees.
- Walmart’s Arkansas HQ employees will begin working remotely on 3/16. In 4,600+ U.S. stores, they are encouraging use of their Walmart Pay app feature for mobile handsfree checkout, and have cut hours (6am-11pm) so employees can focus on sanitizing and restocking. Walmart.com also offers in-store pickup or delivery, to avoid crowds.
- Home Depot has seen great strain in both merchandising and supply chain. This has impacted both online and in-store – due to demand for face masks, hand sanitizers and other cleaning supplies. In-store customer events are paused, product installations are being rescheduled, and a COVID-19 task force has been put in place.
- Target is keeping their 1,800+ stores open, however are reminding customers of alternative fulfillment services that don’t require customers to enter the store. This includes Drive Up, Target.com, and Shipt; where a shopper makes a same-day delivery to your doorstep.
- Kroger, the largest US supermarket chain, has reduced store hours to focus on disinfecting areas commonly touched by customers; cashier stations, conveyor belts, self-checkouts & credit card terminals. Kroger has limited the volume of cold, flu & sanitary products consumers can buy.
- Apple has closed all stores outside China for the next two weeks to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Stores in China are re-opening. Apple has also blocked COVID-19 related games into its app store. Apple is moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide.